10 New Albums to Stream Today

Featuring WILLOW, Chet Faker, Clairo and more

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

Turns out a side effect for the new Willow album is finally feeling like you won’t be judged for recessing into the scene kid life that has never truly died within you. While we all wait for our Hot Topic orders to come in, why not sink into the sensual electronic abyss of the new Chet Faker album, or strap in for the wild carnival ride of Yves Tumor. See how far those surround sound speakers can go with A Place to Bury Strangers’ fuzzed-out bliss. Then, go back and listen to more of the killer Willow album. Those giant cicadas are mostly back in the ground so open up those windows and share your own music with the world with some new recommendations from your friends at Paste.

A Place to Bury Strangers: Hologram

Brooklyn-based noise-rock band A Place to Bury Strangers’ Hologram EP is their first new release since their 2018 remix album Re-Pinned. The record marks a lot of firsts for the band, being the band’s first EP with their latest lineup, featuring Ceremony East Coast’s John Fedowitz on bass and Sandra Fedowitz on drums. It is also the band’s inaugural release on vocalist Oliver Ackerman’s new label, Dedstrange. Hologram teeters on the line of shoegaze and raucous punk, with the new rhythm section tucking in loose ends for a cohesive reminder on why they’ve persisted as one of the scene’s loudest, most exciting acts for over a decade. —Jade Gomez

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Chet Faker: Hotel Surrender

Australian electronic musician Nick Murphy announced the revival of his Chet Faker moniker in October 2020 after five years of working under his birth name. Now, Murphy returns with a new Chet Faker album, Hotel Surrender. His third single since his return to the beloved alias, “Whatever Tomorrow,” debuted April 16 alongside a self-directed music video. The single is a return to form, bringing back his brighter, more atmospheric lo-fi production with his soulful vocals. Chet Faker’s approach is different, focusing more on atmosphere compared to his work as Nick Murphy that blends live instrumentation and darker, more experimental themes. Together, the two sides show Murphy’s versatility as an artist that expands with each endeavor. In a statement, Murphy explains: “There were a lot of heavy perspective shifters for me. I really just thought of the music in a different light. I look at it as a mass therapy now. I think I used to see it as this plight, like I was on a crusade or this creative odyssey. Now I see that it’s more Shamanistic. You’ve got to find some light—or sometimes dark, whatever’s right—and share it. I realized that was the heart of the Chet Faker project. And I felt like the world was hurting, so I thought, ‘I can do a small something to give people some joy.’” —Jade Gomez

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Clairo: Sling

When it was time to release a first single from Claire Cottrill’s hotly anticipated sophomore album under the name Clairo, somebody chose an interesting one: “Blouse,” a downcast ballad about feeling sexualized and ignored that sounds like Phoebe Bridgers singing a Simon & Garfunkel song. The contrast between “Blouse” and Immunity provoked several questions: Was the single representative of the rest of the new album? Or would it turn out to be a curveball? Was it indicative of a change in direction for Clairo? Or was it just another one of her sad songs, this time stripped of the production touches of former Vampire Weekend studio wizard Rostam Batmanglij, whose influence is heavy throughout Immunity? A little more than a month later, Clairo’s new album Sling is here, and we have our answers. Yes, “Blouse” is somewhat representative of the work as a whole, in that it is one of Cottrill’s sad songs—resolute, plainspoken, emotionally resonant, melodically inviting—and Batmanglij’s thumps and squiggles are nowhere to be found. In their place are string sections and horns, rubbery bass lines and warm organ tones, layered harmonies, hushed acoustic folk, modest indie-pop and ‘70s singer/songwriter vibes. And in Rostam’s place is Jack Antonoff, super-producer to stars like Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Lorde and The Chicks. Together, Antonoff and Cottrill recorded Sling at Allaire Studio on a verdant hilltop in upstate New York, where Cottrill found solace after a whirlwind few years that included Immunity’s success, lots of touring and, before all that, her viral rise. Which is probably why Sling sounds like a long exhale after a wild ride: constructive, much-needed, a little bit messy. And while setting Sling next to Immunity proves Cottrill has more than one pitch in her arsenal, it turns out her curveball is the one that’s most dazzling. Here’s hoping she makes an album full of them someday. —Ben Salmon

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Glosser: GLOSSER

Often recalling the luminescent haze of some of dream pop’s best practitioners, Washington, D.C.’s Glosser emerge sounding mature and ambitious on their self-titled debut EP. From the Cocteau Twins-evoking “Nothingness” to the whistling arpeggios on “The Secret,” the songs seem naturally evocative while still sounding distinct. The airy, Twin Peaks imagery-conjuring “Lost in Your Life” serves as a natural introduction to the band—quality pop songwriting decorated with heavy reverb and bright synths. Featuring Bartees Strange’s production assistance, Glosser’s debut is interesting and complex right out of the gate. —Jason Friedman

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Jodi: Blue Heron

For Chicago-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nick Levine (formerly of Pinegrove), the blue heron is much more than just a big bird. It’s the symbol at the center of their debut album as Jodi, the elusive understanding they search for in their intimate, effortlessly tuneful “queer country.” Levine had the great wading bird tattooed on their back, posing in a freezing Chicago pond on the album cover, one symbol immersed within another—one perspective on life’s meaning in a limitless spectrum of experience. Levine’s lyrics evoke the personal and universal alike, often in the same breath: “Night driving at four in the morning through the town / Dim forager lost in the dark, following the sound,” they sing on “Get Back” over a gentle acoustic riff and keening pedal steel. The beauty of Blue Heron is Levine’s acceptance that true meaning is fleeting, and just being alive with one’s eyes open—perhaps even lucky enough to catch a glimpse before it spreads its wings and takes to the air—is cause for joy. “Is it really so bad to be floating around?” Levine wonders over rippling acoustic guitars on the closing title track, “wonder” being the operative term. —Scott Russell

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Midwife: Luminol

“Heaven metal” multi-instrumentalist Madeline Johnston announced her third album as Midwife and released its opener, “God Is a Cop,” in June, after sharing the album’s closer “Christina’s World” back in April. If “heaven metal” doesn’t compute for you on paper, it will soon after you push play on “God Is a Cop,” a hauntingly minimal experimental-pop track that revolves around “the evil thought” Johnston can’t shake, no matter how hard she tries: “Am I the villain, am I the cop?” Her gentle keys—so soft, it’s as if she’s barely touched them—and thrumming guitars echo over and over again, a dreamlike, yet subtly disturbing reflection of her fixation. The follow-up to Midwife’s acclaimed 2020 album Forever, Luminol has an origin story common among COVID-era albums: Robbed of touring by the pandemic, the New Mexico-via-Colorado artist shifted her focus back to writing and recording her new six-song set. The album takes its title from “a chemical used by forensic investigators to reveal trace amounts of blood left at a crime scene. When it reacts with blood, luminol emits a chemiluminescent blue glow that can be seen in a darkened room. In the same way this chemical reveals evidence at a scene, Midwife is interested in profound truth—turning trial and tribulation into sources of light,” a press release explains. “Luminol navigates themes of incarceration, locus of control, clarity, self harm, confinement, agency and truth-seeking, all erupting in a bioluminescent Rothko color-field of blue.” —Scott Russell

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Rodrigo Amarante: Drama

A Brazilian, Rodrigo Amarante is typically best-known for “Tuyo,” the theme song to the show Narcos, and as one third of the band Little Joy, with fellow Brazilian Fabrizio Moretti of The Strokes. But his band Los Hermanos is one of the biggest cult rock bands in Brazil and his solo work is an always-stunning offering that’s readily accessible to more than just Brazilian ears. Now on Drama, his first solo record in seven years, the Rio-born and L.A.-based Amarante brings a collection of breezy, tropicalia-soaked songs sung in both Portuguese and English. “Mare” (“Tide” in Portuguese) is a lively track about the circularity of the world and how, like the tides, fortunes always come and go. But it’s “Sky Beneath” that’ll surely leave the deepest impression on a listener, channeling indigenous drums, gorgeous strings and Amarante’s incredibly poetic (and undeniably Brazilian) songwriting. —Adrian Spinelli

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Runnner: Always Repeating

Always Repeating stretches the definition of the word “new,” as if by design: The first five tracks, including singles “Monochrome,” “Urgent Care” and “Awash,” are re-recorded versions of songs that first appeared on Los Angeles-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Noah Weinman’s 2017 debut as Runnner, Awash, while the second five tracks are his 2020 One of One (or Two of Two, now, I guess) EP, included in sequence. Weinman is moving through time not only in revisiting these songs, but also in the songs themselves, looking back on times, people and places gone by, or ahead to what he hopes is waiting around the next corner. “Move around / Split the season,” he sings on “Awash,” as if accustomed to spending all his time in liminal spaces; later, on “Ur Name on a Grain of Rice,” he frets, “And I should call but I’m afraid / of what you’re gonna say / notice all the ways I’ve changed / and all the ways I’ve stayed the same,” his fear encompassing the past, present and future, all at once. The emotions Weinman sings about are always with him, always repeating—wherever he goes, there they are. —Scott Russell

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WILLOW: lately i feel EVERYTHING

Willow Smith is effortlessly cool, even when they were a young kid singing about whipping their hair or their refreshing take on neo-soul and R&B. Now, they have their eyes set on pop-punk, and they’re making everyone break out the fingerless gloves and Tripp jeans tucked away in their childhood memories. While the Paramore comparisons are inevitable, with Willow choosing not to abandon their gorgeous alto, they are part of a larger effort to bring back the energy of early ‘00s pop-rock and pop-punk without coming off as a cosplayer who seeks to capitalize on nostalgia. There is nothing wrong with bouncing around, trying your hand at everything. Willow shows how taking those risks reaps great rewards. —Jade Gomez

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Yves Tumor: The Asymptotical World EP

The only and only Yves Tumor surprise-released a new EP this week, The Asymptotical World, via Warp Records. The six-track offering follows (and features) “Jackie,” one of Paste’s top June tracks, and is the artist’s first record since their 2020 standout album Heaven to a Tortured Mind. The Asymptotical World was co-produced and engineered by longstanding Tumor collaborator Yves Rothman, and arrives ahead of Tumor’s 2021 and 2022 tour of the U.S., U.K. and Europe. Like “Jackie” before it, the EP finds Tumor blending psych-rock, neo-soul, post-punk and synth-pop sounds into a musical kaleidoscope with the force of a vortex. London/Berlin industrial dance duo NAKED are featured on “Tuck,” but it’s “Secrecy Is Incredibly Important To The Both of Them” that stands out most—its drums race like a heart near bursting, punctuated by dark-wave guitars as Tumor questions, “How can I miss you if you won’t go away?” —Scott Russell

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And don’t forget to check out… Barenaked Ladies: Detour de Force, Ida Mae: Click Click Domino, Instupendo: Love Power A – Z, John Mayer: Sob Rock, K.D.A.P: Influences, Lawrence Rothman: Good Morning, America, Moon King: The Audition, Pop Smoke: Faith, Pizzagirl: softcore mourn, Wavves: Hideaway, The Zolas: Come Back To Life

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